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Intel Desktops (Apple) Hardware

Intel Flaunts Mac mini Knock-off 1092

Posted by Zonk
from the when-you've-got-it dept.
Rollie Hawk writes "Remember how the Mac mini was designed by Apple to steal PC customers? Now Intel wants to steal them back. Adopting a shockingly similar lunch box shape and light-weight design, Intel's upcoming Mini PC features all the sleekness and portability (physical, that is) of the Mac mini with none of the Mac benefits. Well, at least it will probably have a faster processor. Now if only someone would make a Cobalt Qube knock-off for me."
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Intel Flaunts Mac mini Knock-off

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  • by oftheapes (837835) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:25AM (#11833385)
    It's good to see innovation coming from Intel.

    Now I remember why I buy AMD.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I just bought a Mini, its not about the innovation of the computer, I already have an AMD based small form factor computer. I bought the Mac Mini cause it was OSX affordable. No other reason.
      I dont want XP anymore for my home/family computer.
      Linux isn't ready yet when compared to OSX.

      Intel just doesn't get it. I'm not surprised...

      Intel, its Microsoft that is going to kill you!
  • it's an empty case (Score:5, Informative)

    by way2trivial (601132) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:25AM (#11833398) Homepage Journal
    built soley for show..

    they haven't done anything but stick a clock on the face of an empty stylish plastic box yet.

    apple is shipping....

    • by ackthpt (218170) *
      built soley for show.. they haven't done anything but stick a clock on the face of an empty stylish plastic box yet. apple is shipping....

      Sounds like what you'll find a lot of at a CES. Seriously, there was something called The Brick ages ago, so this still isn't anything new. And what about all this Mini ITX stuff which has been around for years? Next...

      • by johnpaul191 (240105) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:45AM (#11833645) Homepage
        the current mini ITX board will not fit inside the Mac Mini's case if you are trying to get the same footprint.... remember when Kevin Rose from TechTV tried to put a windows running thing in the Mac Mini case? he used a pre-release nano-ITX mobo.
        This intel mockup is an empty plastic box with a wristwatch glued to the front. while Kevin could not fit in an optical drive, he got a lot farther than Intel did.
        on top of that the Mac Mini has some extra room and an unused internal firewire connection that this week sparked speculation of possible future revision, or that the rumored built in iPod dock was in the plans at some point.

        http://www.kevinrose.com/index.php/weblog/comments /project_mini_pc/ [kevinrose.com]
        • by Altus (1034) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:29AM (#11834152) Homepage


          dont a lot of the mac desktops have internal firewire ports? Im pretty sure the G4 towers did although I am not sure about the G5. I wonder how much the presence of one really indicates that they intended to use it for an iPod doc.

          you do have to wonder why they would put one in the mini though. there is no hope of adding an internal firewire device.

        • by v1 (525388) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @08:11PM (#11840218) Homepage Journal
          The display model (hollow plastic box) they showed off was significantly shorter than the Mini. Looking at that, I don't see how you could possibly find room (vertically) to put a hard drive in the case. It clearly was meant to imply an optical drive with that slot in it, but at like 2.5" thick there is simply no room to stack a logic board (micro or otherwise) plus a 2.5" HD plus an optical drive (laptop variety) into that space.

          As the article said, this was just to "spur creativity" in the community. "Spend a few years and a few million and you might come up with something that looks almost this good".

          Also clearly apparent, the cooling in such a small case would simply not work for a useful speed of processor in the PC world. They'd have to put a "mobile" grade processor in the box which would really cramp the user's style.
    • by JHromadka (88188) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:34AM (#11833500) Homepage
      Has the PC industry really gotten that bad so that they don't do anything but copy Apple? First eMachines copies the iMac, now Intel is trying to show that PCs can be mini too. I know it's a mockup, but do something original instead of copying the color of the mini.

      Why is it so hard to make a decent-looking case that doesn't look like someone riced it up with stupid lights or clear plastic? I just ordered the parts to build a PC, and the hardest part was finding a case that didn't look like crap. I wasn't successful.

      • by ghoti (60903) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:42AM (#11833611) Homepage

        I just ordered the parts to build a PC, and the hardest part was finding a case that didn't look like crap. I wasn't successful.

        This is really interesting. Since I've seen (and eventually bought ;) an Apple Powerbook, all those black plastic PC laptops make me want to puke. They just look like total crap. And even when companies like Samsung try to copy the Apple look, the results look ugly.
        Same with desktops. Why can't somebody come up with a decent design? And why are the Apple guys able to just get it right? And not just once, but most of their stuff looks really amazing. It's not like there aren't any designers out there ...
        • by emilymildew (646109) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:45AM (#11833638) Homepage
          Mention that the next time someone talks about how outrageously expensive Macs are. Design costs money. Designers cost money.
          • by jfengel (409917) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:47AM (#11834381) Homepage Journal
            How much does design cost? Pulling a few numbers out of my ass, let's say that this took a team of 20 people to design, test, fabricate, etc. this design. Let's say it took them a year, at $100k. (Engineers make more, secretaries make less). That's two million bucks.

            According to some news sources, Apple plans to sell around a million of the things. The cost of the design comes out to two bucks a unit.

            Supposing I'm off by an order of magnitude, we're still talking about $20 per unit paid to the designers. So I really don't think that it's the design driving the price of the units.

            I think that the price of Apple computers is generally driven by basic economics: how much are people willing to pay for them? If that number is greater than the cost to manufacture (including the $2 to $20 for the fancy design), then they do it; otherwise, they don't. The manufacturing cost only sets a lower limit on the price, but it doesn't set it.

            People are willing to pay more for Apples, because they like the design and reliability. Some of that comes from spending more on designers; some comes from more expensive components (Apple for years insisted on using pricey SCSI before finally joining the rest of the world in IDE, for example).

            A lot of it comes from the price of alternatives; Apple almost certainly looks at the price of a Dell marketed to the same audience and adds 20% or so. People are willing to pay a premium because they're getting a better piece of equipment. Apple has a tendency to tell people that they want a better computer than the one Dell is marketing to them.

            Dell will happily sell you the cheapest machine they think you'll buy; Apple would rather sell you a computer that would make you happy. That gives them only a portion of the market, but it's a very cheerful market segment.

            Design is the reason they can charge more, but it's not to pay the designers. Designers are cheap compared to the rest of the process. There might be some room for a competitor to Dell to arise with the same philosophy in the Wintel platform, but they'll be stuck with the same small market share Apple gets from seeking the high end, and they'll still be stuck with Windows as the OS, which will limit how much users like the product no matter how spiffy the physical design.
          • Mention that the next time someone talks about how outrageously expensive Macs are. Design costs money.


            499$ ?

            What do you want? Porsche for the Proletariat?

          • by Refrag (145266) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @11:21AM (#11834786) Homepage
            Do you find the $999 iBook [apple.com] outrageously expensive? Most people find it gorgeous, but not expensive.
        • vprMatrix (Score:3, Interesting)

          by carambola5 (456983)
          Check out vprMatrix [vprmatrix.com]. These x86 laptops are fairly decent in quality (my ~3 year old laptop still works great), and they're designed by F. A. Porsche GmbH. The thing has style.
        • by xRelisH (647464)
          Why can't somebody come up with a decent design?

          Try Lian-Li [lian-li.com]
          But I agree with you, most stock PC cases are crap, and are too flashy without elegance. I love the Lian-li cases, they're clean and don't look tacky if you decide to put a few quad-LED fans in there. All sharp corners are lined with a plastic to avoid cuts, the cases are easy to take apart, and most models have slide out motherboard trays. However, these cases do cost a premium.
      • by rjung2k (576317) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:21AM (#11834070) Homepage
        Has the PC industry really gotten that bad so that they don't do anything but copy Apple?

        As any Apple-watcher will tell you, this has been SOP with the Wintel world for decades now.

        The only thing dumber than the folks surprised at Intel's shameless copycat effort are the ones who mistake that empty plastic box for a fully-functional, shipping, ready-to-go-on-your-desk computer. [apple.com]
      • I hope you can return whatever ugly case you bought, because there are some pretty nice looking ones out there... you just have to look really really hard.

        Cases:
        Silverstone LC09 [silverstonetek.com] (Mini-ITX)
        Ahanix D4 [ahanix.com]
        Soldam Alphia [soldam.net]

        Barebones:
        Shuttle SB86i [shuttle.com]

        Complete PC:
        Hush [hush-technologies.com]

        Most of these are not as cool looking as my Mac Mini, but then, you wouldn't be limited to 1.43GHz G4 and laptop hard drives.

    • by JoeWalsh (32530) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:57AM (#11833777)
      Corrected article follows:

      Intel Flaunts Empty Plastic Case

      In a stunning show of shamelessness in the face of a total lack of innovation, Intel today unveiled to a gaggle of gullible corporate lackeys and ass-kissing note-takers their newest product: an empty plastic box. An Intel spokesperson said they hope that some day, someone will build a computer to put in the box. At that point, they hope to load it down with the deeply flawed and customer-hostile Microsoft Windows operating system, thereby releasing misery from the confines of dens and offices and into family rooms worldwide.

  • Interesting. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:26AM (#11833408) Journal
    i was all like, yeah whatever, new small computer - horray. Then, i looked at this shot [zdnet.com] and now i kinda really want one :)

    ...so long as it can pull its weight doing the media junk in the house.
  • Not "Upcoming"! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Some guy named Chris (9720) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:26AM (#11833409) Journal

    From the second paragraph of the article: " It's unlikely that Intel itself would build such a device."

    Then, the article clearly goes on to say that this is a empty plastic shell, designed merely to inspire Intel's partners, not an example of any upcoming Intel product. I guess that doesn't sound as exciting and inflamatory, though.

    • by artemis67 (93453) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:51AM (#11833708)
      is that the maketing position for the Mac Mini is to convert Windows iPod users who are sold on the Apple brand but think even the iMacs are too expensive.

      Who, exactly, is the target market for the x86 Mini? PC's are already dirt cheap, and we know that shrinking down the form factor like that will only raise the price over existing desktop PC's. They aren't going to convert Mac users, because Mac users a) don't buy on price alone, and b) already have a Mac option in that category, so they will buy the Mac Mini.

      Logically, for Intel to compete against the Mac Mini, they need to develop an iPod killer, not another desktop system.
  • I'm going to switch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SamSeaborn (724276) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:27AM (#11833414)
    I'm a long-time PC user that's finally had enough. I'm switching to a Mac mini, but I'm waiting for the next hardware update (probably in August, I'm guessing?) and for Tiger to be released.

    Sam

    • good thinking maybe..... if nothing else waiting for 10.4 to come installed will save you $129-$149 (not sure what 10.4 will cost).

      though sometimes right after the new OS ships they will take existing stock of hardware and give you a boxed version of the OS for free. sometimes........

      10.4 will be shipping well before the Mini gets revised, unless some major software issues come up.
    • by TLSPRWR (711680)
      If you're a long time PC user, please make sure you spend some time doing real tasks on OS X before you consider switching. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money if you do.
      Here's my bias: I've used PCs since I was a young pup and have recently had to use some Macs for school work and presentations.
      Please note, the following is an opinion, based on personal experience. The usual Mac egotistic reply is not going to change my opinion, so please be insightful if you are going to reply. People always
      • Translation:

        I'm too stupid to figure out how to use a Mac, therefore I don't think anyone else should switch.

        • by dont_think_twice (731805) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @11:43AM (#11835060) Homepage
          I'm too stupid to figure out how to use a Mac, therefore I don't think anyone else should switch.

          Translation:

          I'm a dick who insults the intelligence of anyone who "thinks different" than I do.

          I use linux, but I have seriously been considering buying a Mac for a while. At least, I was considering it until I actually tried using one. I used it for a whole summer, and learned to hate it. Nothing worked like I expected.

          I have no problems with Macs in general. I still might buy a MiniMac as a "family room" computer. But there is no way that I could use one as my personal computer. They are designed for a different type of computer user than me.

          So why do you insist that someone is a idiot because they don't like the OSX interface? Do you seriously believe that every intelligent person has the exact same view you do about it?
          • by geoffspear (692508) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @11:56AM (#11835184) Homepage
            If you expect a different OS to work exactly like the one you're most familiar with to the point that you actually believe you need to use the keyboard instead of the mouse for anything on a Mac, you're an idiot.

            Preferring one UI over the other has nothing to do with it. Assuming the different UI doesn't work because it's not identical to Windows shows that you're either unwilling or unable to learn anything new.

            Someone who's able to switch between Windows, Linux, and a Mac and use them all is not an idiot, even if he or she strongly prefers one over the others.

      • by amichalo (132545) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:30AM (#11834165)
        I think that much of your issue with OS X is simply understand a new paradigm for using an OS.

        A few comments make me think you have missed the point:
        Finder is like "Explorer" for Windows - it allows you to navigate a file system, go in and out of folders, etc.
        "Docking Station" (the Dock) is NOT like the Start menu in windows and NOT like the task bar ar the bottom either. It is a place where you can put applications you often run, so they are easily accessed, as well as applications that are running, to easily switch between, as well as open or closed documents you may be working on and even file folders and finally, the trash can. That's why they call it the Dock, you can just "dock" things there.

        Another issue I think is confounding things is that to install an application in OS X, 9 times out of 10, you just copy one file from the CD to the hard drive. It can live in just about any directory and when you click it, it launches. This is WAY different than windows, but very nice because you don't end up with dozens of files everywhere for a single program (makes uninstalling clean too!) But I digress - you may find it helpful to drag your "Applications" folder to the dock (right side of the divider bar, near the trash can is where documents and folders go). When you want to launch an application, simply hold down your mouse click on that folder for about a second and the contents will pop up, allowing you to launch an application from there.

        As for the keyboard shortcut things, I am surprised how much you feel they are necessary. I don't believe, but admit I could be wrong, there is anything that cannot be done with just the mouse that can with a keyboard shortcut.

        I have two recommendations - if you are really worried about the way the OS works, go to a local Apple store or even CompUSA/other Apple retailer and ASK SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU AROUND IT. Yeah, it is a different experience, but I argue it would be easier to learn than Windows, had someone no experience with either OS. SECONDLY, there are great books at Amazon/etc for switching to OS X from XP. Here [amazon.com] is just one.
      • by JHromadka (88188)
        The Finder is nothing like the Start button. It is like Windows Explorer. If you want something like a Start Button for your commonly used apps, create a folder somewhere (mine is called QuickLaunch) and then put aliases/shortcuts to your applications in there. You can even create subfolders if you like. Now drag your Quicklaunch folder to the right-side of the Dock and it will stay there. Now everytime you want to get to your apps, right-click that folder and up pops a list of your apps, just like the
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:35PM (#11835601)
        I'm a life-long Windows (since v. 1) user that switched to an iMac recently (Feb). I can tell you right now that I'm sold, and not going back to the PC!

        To me, your rant sounds like you were looking for an imitation of Windows on the Mac.

        The reason I like the Mac so much is because they did _not_ imitate Windows! Instead, they designed the OS from (almost) the ground and created something that was created with usability in mind, instead of creating something that need to be backwards compatible with MS-DOS.

        For the past four weeks, I haven't booted in Windows once at home, and I now find Windows a pain to use at work.

        My $0.02
  • Just an empty shell (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nuclear Elephant (700938) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:27AM (#11833416) Homepage
    Intel has a habit of showing off empty shell concepts and hoping that some manufacturer will pick it up. It's highly likely that this was the case here - no new product yet, just a plastic case that looks kinda like a Mac Mini.
  • by MooseByte (751829) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:28AM (#11833431)

    Intel can make whatever shaped/sized box they want, but it's still going to ship with Windows for Joe Consumer. A box that can get easily 0wned is what people are growing weary of. Mac Mini targets those folks as well as iPod users (not necessarily separate groups there). This knock-off once again misses the point.

    What makes this interesting is how well it runs Linux. Otherwise.... pfffft!
    • A box that can get easily 0wned is what people are growing weary of
      certainly true. however, let us not forget that osx is not perfect either. nor, thou it saddens me to admit it, is linux. as marketshare shifts toward these from windows, which i sincerely hope it continues to do, they will also be targeted for all manner of exploits. the point of comparison is how well they deal with being targeted. i think it would be difficult to react in a worse way than microsoft.
      on a side note, i don't understand the
  • by hydroxy (863799) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:28AM (#11833436)
    They always seem to want to copy what Apple does... but they muck it up and end up going nowhere with it. I would think that they would have learned after everyone and their mother tried to copy the iMac with no success.
  • Uh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by NardofDoom (821951) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:29AM (#11833441)
    Thus far, the concept PC is just a piece of plastic, literally, although its design showed a clock display and optical drive in front, with ports such as USB, optical audio and FireWire in the back.

    Way to go there, Intel. Suprisingly, it's about as functional as any XP machine once it's been let onto the Internet(s).

  • pathetic attempt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PureCreditor (300490) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:30AM (#11833465)
    If Intel is truly the industrial leader (true)and innovator (questionable), then they should come up with a radically different concept PC to compete with Mac mini, and yet can target the same audience. Having a carbon-copy of Mac mini is the same as saying :

    their design is superior, the only thing special about ours....we use a x86 cpu!!

    Reminds me of Creative Zen looking awfully similar to the iPod mini, but much uglier colors.
    • by xsupergr0verx (758121) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:55AM (#11833759)
      That's silly. You act as if Apple did some real groundbreaking work for mass marketing the next logical step (which has already existed.)

      Two months ago, you had your choice of hundreds of different mini itx systems. Now everybody thinks the Mac Mini is a new idea, and that anybody making a small computer is a copycat.

      I see the same thing happen when talking about the iPod as well. A hard drive in a portable music player was an evolutionary idea (notice the E at the beginning), and the logical next step. Hard drive players existed before first gen iPods shipped, but Apple's image as being different and hip advertised their product as if it was the only hard drive mp3 player you could buy.

      I like Apple products, and they make quality hardware, but the examples you used were not revolutionary. They were next step, no surprises, and not even Apple's idea.
      • by mrtrumbe (412155) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:19AM (#11834045) Homepage
        I've already posted a comment very similar to this, but here goes anyway...

        Look past the components and look at the design. You are absolutely right that Apple didn't invent the idea of a hard-drive in a portable music player. But you are absolutely wrong if you think the iPod wasn't revolutionary. Look at the form of the iPod. Look at how small, sleek and pretty it is. Now consider its user interface. Take in the simplicity of its menu system, its scrollwheel and button layout and overall ease of use. Now consider how easily and effectively it interfaces with iTunes, how trivial it is to create playlists and fille your iPod with music.

        Now compare that experience (that of the revision 1 iPod) with the hard drive players available at the time. Is there a difference? Is that difference major? I think so.

        I've given an iPod to people utterly unfamiliar with gadgetry of any kind and they were up and using the iPod in under a minute (after they got over how cool it looked). THAT is the Apple difference and why they sell products. They lead in a way that is foreign to many PC users: design.

        Taft

        • by slim (1652)
          I've given an iPod to people utterly unfamiliar with gadgetry of any kind and they were up and using the iPod in under a minute (after they got over how cool it looked). THAT is the Apple difference and why they sell products.

          Really?

          I watched an newbie explore an iPod Mini only last week. His first question was "how do I turn it off?" (and was incredulous at the two answers: "hold down play", and "you don't need to"). Then I challenged him to find the volume control, which he was unable to do.

          (Admitted
    • Re:pathetic attempt (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Deliveranc3 (629997)
      Having held a Zen and an Ipod and used both I'd say the zen is the superior machine in every way.
  • by Caspian (99221) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:32AM (#11833487)
    That case looks JUST like a Mac Mini. Almost identical. It reminds me of the iMac knockoffs (I'm talking about the original iMacs which came in one colour (Bondi blue) and looked vaguely like a gumdrop) that came out shortly after the launch of that product.
  • by qwertphobia (825473) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:38AM (#11833553)
    Let me see if I have this right...

    Apple creates something beautiful again, and everybody says "Wow, it's perfect, but it's an Apple".

    Then within a few months {"Intel", "Dell", "Microsoft", "Compaq"} tells the rest of the world "it's alright, go ahead and start copying Apple".

    So everybody does, and tells {"Intel", "Dell", "Microsoft", "Compaq"} how great they are.

    again.
  • by KajiCo (463552) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:38AM (#11833556)
    The whole poing of the Mac Mini is that it's a small affordable system that comes preinstalled with; an OS, a Photo Editor, Movie Editor, Music Player, DVD/VCD designer, and Music Composition software. Additionally most Macs comes pre-installed with Apple Works and World Book Encyclopedia.

    Not to mention the splendor of no Adware or a major risk of viruses.
    • The whole poing of the Mac Mini is that it's a small affordable system that comes preinstalled with; an OS, a Photo Editor, Movie Editor, Music Player, DVD/VCD designer, and Music Composition software. Additionally most Macs comes pre-installed with Apple Works and World Book Encyclopedia.

      Not to mention the splendor of no Adware or a major risk of viruses.


      I think the whole point of the Mac Mini is to offer a cheap Mac to pursuade users to move from Windows / Intel to Macintosh / Apple.. But I'll argue a
      • Refinement? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by green pizza (159161)
        Every product could use a little more refinement. But before you say the Mac Mini needs refinement, I challenge you to try out. Get it in the original box, open it up, and try it out. It's a very smooth package.

        Compare iMovie to MS Movie Maker and iPhoto to MS Photo Editor and you'll see that Apple has already done a lot of this "refinement" you speak of.

        Personally I love the Mac Mini, but I know it's not for me. What I really want is a single processor G5 cube with graphics on an AGP or PCI-E card. I'd p
  • by ehack (115197) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:40AM (#11833586) Journal
    So far, Intel has enforced market segmentation: You could get a laptop *or* a space-heater. This model is an indication that laptop processors will now be allowed to trickle into the general market. Ipod sized servers and child-pizza sized desktop comps are well within Intel's ability - just look at the size of the "computer" in your laptop.

    Microsoft will doubtless resist the move: if it's not a "PC" then clients might not want "Windows", that clunky 19th century command center for a steam-powered computing box. Dell etc will also resist, because clients might get into the nasty habit of upgrading their CPUs only; even worse, some might dump laptops in favor of just taking their company "mini desktop" home in the backpack.

    Summary - the Mac mini has broken Apple's hi-price policy, but it has also broken many of the unwritten laws of the PC cartel. Clearly, a form factor who's time has come !
  • by kajoob (62237) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:40AM (#11833588)
    I was a Dos/Windows (then to some extent Linux) user my entire life. I now am the proud owner of a Mac Mini. I haven't booted into windows once since I got it. I got sick of all the viruses/spyware/malware in windows and the fact that , althought windows gets the job done, it's not enjoyable to use.

    I would have NEVER bought a mac had they not released the mini because I was not about to pay a premium for hardware when I don't do any graphic design work or play many games. So all these companies that are trying to release a Mac Mini killer are barking up the wrong tree when they just release a traditional pc with a small footprint. It's the operating system, stupid! I don't have an answer for them because I just don't think linux is ready for prime time yet, but I am evidence that people are ready for an alternative, but it has nothing to do with the fact that our computers are too big now. If apple had released a $499 machine that was the size of a G5 tower, I would have bought that as well.

  • by 10Ghz (453478) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:45AM (#11833637)
    ...Mini Me Too?
  • by SuperficialRhyme (731757) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:45AM (#11833644) Homepage
    Why is no one talking about this part of the article:

    At the same time that Intel is looking to push computermakers on the design front, it is also working to improve the quality of such devices. It is also working to ensure that content can be secured to the satisfaction of Hollywood studios, which will decide whether or not to make their movies available on such machines.

    MacDonald brought Microsoft eHome executive Joe Belfiore on stage to talk about collaborations between the two companies. He spoke about an effort to make sure Microsoft's digital-rights management technology is compatible with Intel's push for standards to enable content to move among home devices easily while still being protected from widespread distribution.

    A Disney executive also spoke about the potential for bringing its Moviebeam service to PCs. The service, which offers more than 100 movies on demand, currently works only with set-top boxes.


    That seems to be more disturbing than Intel trying to get manufacturers to compete with a mini-esque PC.
  • by standards (461431) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:47AM (#11833660)
    Sadly, it does seem to me that Apple is the only one out there that innovates and inspires.

    At one time, Compaq, Dell, and even Microsoft could be expected to innovate. Just look at the original Armada. Visual Basic 3.0. the Pre-inspiron laptops. Ya, they weren't the best products ever, but they were very innovative, industry-changing ideas at the time.

    Now they're just a slow evolution of an old idea. For people who don't like the press that Apple gets, and would like to see others garner some press time - well, what the hell has ANYONE in the industry done in the past 5 years?

    Intel does not need to inspire the industry with a Mac clone. The industry has seen it - and is merely betting that people won't switch.

    That's a good bet, but it shows me how much the PC industry has totally lost it's spark of innovation, despite loads of inspiration from a non-competitor.
  • The Aztec (Score:5, Informative)

    by justforaday (560408) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:57AM (#11833781)
    This is exactly the same as when Intel unveiled the Aztec prototypes [theapplecollection.com] right after the introduction of the original iMac...
  • by Zemplar (764598) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:12AM (#11833955) Journal
    That was NOT Intels new "mini" computer, only the new heatsink required for the next generation of Intel processors.
  • Intersting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SWTP_OS9 (658064) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:16AM (#11833995)
    1) Imitation the sencerest form of flattery.

    2) Its not the power brick, powering this unit. But the cooling tower you also need to hang off of it! With the earplugs included in the box!

    3) Intel been doing this "odd shape case thing" for years and no one has coppied them yet. Remember the Aztec pyrimid? Uggly shape and colors.

    4) But Microsoft want to go to the "Teddybear" form factor case!
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=5459 78&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312/ [go.com]

    5) The "low heat" and also "low power" micro/Pico-ITX form factor MB are not made by Intel but are being driven by VIA CPU's and chipset!

    6) And is this from the same Intel that was hyping so much bleeding edge stuff, over the last few years. That after X months usually said we can't do it?
  • Newsflash: (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Custard (587661) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:25AM (#11834115) Homepage Journal
    Newsflash: Intel launches empty grey plastic box! Film at eleven.
  • by guidryp (702488) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:43AM (#11834334)
    A plastic box the size of the Mini to inspire partners. Heck it is not even a prototype, just a plastic mock up.

    Intel would be a lot more inspirational if they showed up with a circuit board prototype for a small form factor that comes in with a reasonable dollar cost and heat envelope.

    A hunk of plastic when intel doesn't really offer a solution that fits in the plastic seems kind of pointless. Does intel offer any explanation of What processor/chipset would power their partners? A prescot would melt anything that size unless that was the heatsink.

    Only really leaves Dothan solutions, which intel doesn't really sanction or price for desktop usage.

    The only PC form factors close to this are micro-itx (non intel but shipping/working) and nano-itx (also non intel and maybe non shipping).

    Maybe Intel is inspiring it's partners to think about using Via Epia solutions.

  • by computechnica (171054) <PCGURU.COMPUTECHNICA@com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @11:55AM (#11835178) Homepage Journal
    If Microsoft installed a full version of Win2K on the X-box and installed several standard USB ports and a VGA plug, and sold them at cost($300?), they could flood the market. As long as it still played X-box games just think of the multimedia possibilities.
  • why so negative? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jsailor (255868) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @11:57AM (#11835196)
    I'm sure I'll regret voicing this, but I'm curious why there's such a strong reaction from such a pro-Linux community. Wouldn't this enable you to create a myriad of products, gadgets, etc. that ran Linux, looked more elegant, and carried a much lower price point than custom system builds? It seems like a boon to the Linux hacking community.
  • by passion (84900) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:04PM (#11835274)

    Getting another cheap piece of commodity PC hardware out into the markey isn't the point. The point is that this is a small, cheap multi-media piece of hardware.

    FTA: Intel on Wednesday showed off its living room PC of the future--and it looks a lot like the Mac Mini.

    This can easily play DVDs, mp3s, record TV (think tivo or myth for that matter). How long until either Apple releases the software for running your own Tivo, or importing TV directly into iMovie. This is meant to be the digital jukebox that you use when you're not "working", but instead enjoying life.

  • apple and others (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zpok (604055) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @12:28PM (#11835530) Homepage
    The thing that irks me is that however wonderful the Apple Mini is, Intel is also doing a concept design of something that has been done on the PC side of things already.

    As if someone would proudly show a concept car of a new Mini or Smart, almost ten years after the fact...

    This lack of imagination is almost insulting to PC brands that try to do entertainment designs or small form factors. I'm generally totally unimpressed by PC design, but one has to acknowledge the fact that there is already enough on the market to surpass Intel's revolutionary concept.

    Never mind Apple, I don't think Intel can do anything design-wise to insult them. Apple's actual products are way above and beyond these concepts.

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